So take a minute and go watch this video. I found it posted in one of my Facebook parenting groups with the caption “I was absolutely DYING laughing” or something along those lines.
In the video, the mom tells the girl she is GROUNDED because she is terrified of the needle. At a later point, she tells her son she is going to show the video of him being scared to his friends or his class at school or whatever.
I kinda wish I could slap some sense into that mom. Because telling her daughter she’s grounded is way, way out of line and threatening to show a video of her son crying to his classmates is so far out of line I can’t even…. just..ugh. This makes me so angry.
It makes me angry for two reasons.
A)The kind of behavior this mom exhibits shows that she thinks her kids should “man up” and just take it and if they don’t they are some how less than. WTF?
B) Severe needle phobia DOES exist.
How do I know?
Because I’ve suffered from it most of my life.
Getting blood drawn or even getting a simple shot is a traumatic affair for me. In the past, I have felt so terrified I became nauseated and sometimes threw up. Sometimes my entire body shakes when they try to give me a shot or get blood out of me, which is NOT helpful in any way.
I know when and where this phobia started, too. When I was 4, I had to have blood drawn (my mother and I don’t quite remember the reason. Probably related to a genetic condition I have though) and drawing blood from a 4 year old is problematic enough. But I had (and have) the added fun complications of having veins that tend towards the smaller side of normal and also do the neato trick of rolling right out of the way when you stick them with sharp pointy objects. The doctor had tried several times to get blood from me and it just was NOT working. I had started to scream and cry as hard as I could, as well a child might be expected to after they’d been poked multiple times and had somebody digging around to get a hard to find vein inside both elbows. It was at this point the doctor decided to have my mother and a nurse hold me down while he jabbed a needle into a big fat vein in my neck that was standing out quite nicely because I was crying so hard.
Ever since then, it takes a lot for me to get blood drawn or even a simple shot. I hate it with a passion and have to fight the trembling and intense fear that comes when I know I have no choice but to just get this done. I have developed, over the years, some coping mechanisms like singing quietly to myself or breathing slowly and deeply while the nurse or the tech or whoever gets the pleasure of attacking my veins does their job.
I know needle phobia is real and I know what it feels like, so when members of the FB group where the video was posted started commenting things like “I would BEAT my child if they ever acted like this!!” and saying that the behavior is straight up bullshit attention grabbing whiney crap, I went on the defensive. Because you can’t rationalize fear and you can’t control what you’re afraid of. Needle phobia gets brushed aside, I think sometimes, because “Oh it’s JUST a shot.” or “Oh good Lord, it’s JUST a blood draw.” and we’re expected to just sit back and take it like it’s nothing. But to those of us who have needle phobia..it’s not nothing. It is so far from being not nothing that it passes ‘not nothing’ and screams in its face as it runs by.